EU adopts new strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change
The European Commission adopted yesterday a new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, setting out the pathway to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
From deadly heatwaves and devastating droughts, to decimated forests and coastlines eroded by rising sea levels, climate change is already taking its toll in Europe and worldwide. Building on the 2013 Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the aim of the EC’s proposals is to shift the focus from understanding the problem to developing solutions, and to move from planning to implementation.
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that insufficient preparation can have dire consequences. There is no vaccine against the climate crisis, but we can still fight it and prepare for its unavoidable effects. The impacts of climate change are already felt both inside and outside the European Union. The new climate adaptation strategy equips us to speed up and deepen preparations. If we get ready today, we can still build a climate-resilient tomorrow.”
Economic losses from more frequent climate-related extreme weather are increasing. In the EU, these losses alone already average over €12 billion per year. Conservative estimates show that exposing today’s EU economy to global warming of 3°C above pre-industrial levels would result in an annual loss of at least €170 billion.
The action on climate change adaptation must involve all parts of society and all levels of governance, inside and outside the EU. A climate resilient society can be built by improving knowledge of climate impacts and adaptation solutions; by stepping up adaptation planning and climate risk assessments; by accelerating adaptation action; and by helping to strengthen climate resilience globally.
Read here the full press release.